tv BBC World News PBS September 15, 2010 1:30pm-2:00pm PST
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>> somewhere in america, there is a doctor who can peer into the future. there is a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital is working together, there is a family that can breathe easy right now. somewhere in america we have already answered some of the nation's toughest health care questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens, answers. >> and now, "bbc world news." >> africa is forgotten the crisis -- millions are going hungry. >> the harvest has now improved, but it is clear that the ongoing food insecurity has taken its toll on the people, especially the children. >> they are getting to the heart of the matter. u.s. middle east envoy's george -- middle east envoy george
mitchell's assessment of talks between israel and palestinians. the pope has described the uk as a third-world country. welcome to "bbc world news" -- broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america, also of around the globe. coming up later for you, against a backdrop of st. protests, france's lower house passes the bill which raises the retirement age from 60 to 62, and hope for track and chile's miners. -- trapped miners. a new arrival lists some of the gloom -- lifts some of the gloom. hello to you. millions of people across central and western africa are going hungry. yes, the numbers are in the millions. the worst of the country is even larger than the states of
california and texas together, but with a population of just 15 million. delta been flooding of ruined crops, and some help has arrived, but it has not been enough. we have this special report. >> according to the united nations, development terms, it is the world's poorest nation. for the past year, the united nations has been appealing to the international community for help, and those that call has been answered to some extent, it is clear that the people in this country have been ravaged by the ongoing food and security. i have been to a town in eastern part of the country, on the border of nigeria to assess the situation there. this small village and one man, elderly, but still sprightly, goes into its traditional grain store. has been empty for four months. drought, a dramatic rate, and
high food prices have left people you're wondering where their next food is coming from. -- lest people here wondering where their next food is coming from. i've been told there is a woman here willing to talk to me and tell me about her and her family. i just have to find her now. this plate of green beans is all that this family of eight would eat for a whole day. that is clearly, obviously, not enough. her husband works in the larger village nearby. the u.s. food and agricultural organization is trying to help herder's. this crisis has affected production, but it is has also affected the status of the animals, and these animals are the livelihood of these harbors. without them, they will be destitute, said that is why we need to save these animals.
fao has been distributing animal feed to save these animal. >> the harvests have improved somewhat this year, niger is still facing a hunger crisis because the port are now so malnourished this simply cannot afford enough food to get stronger -- the port -- the poor are so malnourished. this mother has just brought her baby in to be assessed. this is the mother's third child. he is one year old. she will be admitted for attention, but the doctor says it is difficult to have to decide who is accepted for treatment. >> there are places that have had to make choices between children. so far, we have not. it is difficult. >> the mothers here work four
hours, sometimes even days, across the searing heat of the desert to get to the feeding center -- the mothers here walk for hours. the number of children coming for emergency treatment is increasing. this little boy's grandmother who has brought him in. he is so underfed that he has become more prone to disease and suffering from malaria. this baby has been left by her mother, who is too busy looking after her other children. the child is obviously in an acute state of malnutrition. the governor knows the plight of the people here is dire. >> has a poor country, we always are in need as a sense. it is not easy. why? because the situation worsens
because of the climate. >> the piece of niger has a long and proud history. as come to the 18th-century palace to ask him how the people are coping. this traditional face mask, he tells me that their faith keeps them going, and that they must simply relied on allah to keep them through. the suffering, was the breadbasket of niger. i have been getting information from the prime minister of niger. >> the food situation in niger is critical. quite simply, since february, the head of state himself has considered it to be a famine, and since march, we have considered the situation to be desperate. there has been a huge deficit in food, and the situation for
animals has been extremely difficult, so we can say that the situation is extremely serious and difficult, but in terms of food for people and animals. >> does the government of niger need more assistance from the international community now? >> we know that the situation, when it comes to nutrition of children, it is extremely bad. right now, the level of six children under 5 is extremely high, more than 60%, over the accepted level. so the international community has been key, and we think can be even more helpful in helping to implement public policy is going forward, so the phenomenon of food insecurity does not persist. >> are you confident that the authorities here in niger, you, are doing all you can to alleviate the suffering, the
number of the people here? >> since the very beginning, we have taken the situation in hand and subsidize the food crisis, and then, the help of our partners, we have had free distribution. we have done to the we will things. the third will start soon, so we are managing the crisis. the works which have been done to restore the environment have allowed us to give people enough to subsist on. dikes have also been built to help restore the environment, and these are some of the actions we have taken to put -- to try to prevent food insecurity. >> that is all we have time for. now back to the studio. >> israeli and palestinian leaders have held a second day of peace negotiations. the american middle east envoy george mitchell told a middle east conference they are dealing with key authority issues head- on. >> what i'm able to share with
you is limited. the two leaders are not leading -- leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions. they are tackling up front and did so this evening, the issues that are at the center of the israeli/palestinian conflict. we take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible, and of their desire to conclude an agreement. >> george mitchell. we go to jerusalem now. they may be dealing with these issues. we know pretty well what their relative issues are. are they making progress, as far as you know? >> we are told they are making progress, but we do not have the details to verify that ourself. george mitchell in that press conference also said that the two leaders wanted the details of their talks to remain
confidential because they felt that was the best chance for success. what we do know is that they sat together for three hours talking in the presence of hillary clinton and george mitchell. they even had dinner together. apparently benjamin netanyahu served sushi. there's also word they will talk again in the coming weeks. we know that negotiations from both sides will meet next week to prepare, so the talks continue. the process continues, but there are very few details so far about the substance and what exactly is being discussed and what may have already been agreed. >> you are pretty well experienced in this region. do you have a sense of where it may be going? george mitchell is in syria now. there is tension rising now in and around gaza. >> absolutely. on both sides of the divide, there are those that do not want these talks to continue.
hamas has made clear what it thinks of these talks. that this is not the way to get palestinians their rights back. israeli settlers are also adamant that prime minister netanyahu shall not give in. they want him to continue building in the settlements. the tensions are there. the obstacles are there, but the american administration seems quite confident that it can move this process forward, and it is now moving on to the regional approach with this trip by george mitchell to syria and lebanon. >> many thanks indeed for that. pope benedict's visit to britain is intended to improve strained between catholics and anglicans, but just hours before he arrives, one of his senior advisers has pulled out, pleading ill health. hard, though, not to suspect a possible connection with an interview just published in the german magazine. in it, he talks of an aggressive
atheism's spreading in britain, and he compares it to a third- world country. >> cardinal casper had been a long-term friend and ally of pope benedict. responsible for improving relations between the catholic church and other christian faiths, including anglican is in the united kingdom. but in an interview with a german magazine, he questioned britain's christian beliefs and culture. he said britain was a country marked by a new and aggressive atheism. the cardinal went on to say that when you land at heathrow, you think at times that you have landed in a third-world country. cardinal kasper no longer works with the pope, though he had been due to come to britain to act as an adviser. he has now canceled, the vatican says, because of poor health. the comments have been met with surprise and concern by those we spoke to in scotland. >> i do not know why he would
say that. i think we do pretty well for ourselves, and people still believe in their religion anyway. >> i think he has to believe he meant it, especially someone that close to the pope. >> there is no suggestion pope benedict knew about the cardinal's, as before they were published, and the pope is aware of the potential damage they could now cause -- knew about the cardinal's comments before they were published. >> there is a potential of embarrassment with the timing being what it is. the vatican has been working to deflect criticism because of the police scandal and sexuality and abortion. >> thanks for being with us on "bbc world news." do stay if you can. still to come -- reaching out to pakistan's flood victims. more claims that islamist groups are stepping in to help.
first, though, the detention of a chinese fishing captain in japan has sparked more protests. activists in hong kong tried to stage a sit-in at the japanese consulate. johnson reports. -- jonathan johnson reports. >> where is this intensive diplomatic standoff headed? for these activists in hong kong, it was the japanese consulate. their demands are related to the chinese fishing boat captain who has been held in captivity since october 7. this marathon said it is to request japan to immediately release the ship captain. his fate is the subject of a decades-old tussle over an archipelago in the east china sea. the group of eight uninhabited islands, and taiwan also claims the territory.
>> this latest round started when this chinese scholar ranted two japanese coast vessels near the island. 14 vessels arrived back of the island after being released, and early on, they are set to join them, but the damage has already spread beyond the vote. they did counsel talks with tokyo over the area's boiling gas reserves. now, reports in the japanese media suggest that the bilateral summit at next week was the general assembly is also under threat. that is why there is a lot riding on the decision of japanese prosecutors. they have until sunday to release or charged the captain. in hong kong, supporters handed a letter a petition to japanese consulate stars. tokyo says the case is simply being processed according to the law, but there's a lot more riding on his case than most.
>> the latest headlines for you this hour -- millions of people are suffering from hunger in niger where drought and flooding have destroyed crops. the american middle east envoy george mitchell is saying israeli and palestinian leaders have tapped the issues that lie at the heart of their conflict on a second day of direct talks. violence has spread to new areas of indian kashmir as the government in delaware he holds urgent talks. at least five protesters were shot dead -- the government in delhi falls urgent talks. >> another day of violence in india. protesters defying curfew orders to take to the streets of the capital. it is a tactic they have used
twice in the summer to respond to tear gas, and sometimes, live ammunition. as the violence spiralled out of control, it is unknown if the indian government, who are unsure how to deal with the situation. there was little consensus at this meeting held between the country's main political parties, especially over lifting a powerful law, which gives sweeping power to the political forces in kashmir. the prime minister says he has been shocked and distressed that young men and women and even children have taken part in the protest. he has called on them to give up violence. a delegation of the parties will visit the region to try to assess the situation and also send a message that delhi is concerned, but it is not likely to have much impact on the
ground. these are the biggest demonstrations in cash mayor in two decades. citizens want to address the basic issue -- the future status of cashmere. -- kashmir. >> in the u.s., the robustly conservative tea party has won several major victories. another favorite won the race to stand for new york governor. republican strategists fear tea party candidates may not appeal to the wider middle ground candidate. japan has intervened in the global currency markets, selling yen for the first time in 6.5 years to stem a persistent rise in its value. it was making japanese exports less competitive, slowing economic recovery. the chair of the house ways and means committee described the
move as deeply disturbing, an example of a predatory exchange rate policy. there were two american missile strikes in pakistan's northwest tribal belt earlier today, aimed at taliban militants. as pakistan struggles to cope with the colossal monsoon floods. there has been an upsurge in violence. there is also the persistent concern that militants are using the flood to win hearts and minds. our correspondent is traveling the length of the river in this this week. he has met one group that is distributing aid. >> six weeks after a huge torrent of water crashed through this family's home, work is under way to repair it. it was not just bricks and belongings that were lost here. to the we would teenage daughters of a family were swept away as well. -- two teenage daughters of a family were swept away as well. >> my brain is not working
anymore. i am talking and reading, but i died the day my daughters were taken away -- i am talking and reading. >> it has been more than six weeks since those rains came here, but as you can see, some areas are still submerged. there are many other buildings across here and villages that remain isolated by the flood. in spite of talk of massive aid mobilization, there are many of those who lost their homes and possessions here who say they have not yet had any help. >> we see then driving past this area without helping us. i have stood in the road to stop them, and they have told me they would come back, but they never do. >> the sheer number of families whose homes have been turned into nothing more than piles of debris is staggering.
there are accusations some groups are capitalizing on the massive needs here. a drive into the countryside lead us to where we were told we would find relief camps. we found doctors seeing patients, but the people running this place who were reluctant to show their faces, a former so- called welfare wing of a banned islamic organization. >> people say we are terrorists, but it is all lies. they should judge us by what we do on the ground, ask people here if they like us. >> of course, users of the camp, many of whom have lost everything, said they were grateful to the group, but at a time when so many people have been left homeless by the flooding, no surprise they are willing to accept help from almost any quarter.
>> the lower house of the french parliament has proposed reforms including the highly contentious plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. thousands of demonstrators voiced their opposition, and two trade unions voiced an open- ended strike. >> nowhere in europe is the battle on pensions as divisive as it is in france. there is a long history in the country of defending what you have earned. benefits won are never given up without a fight. the result of the vote was always a formality. the president's ruling party has strength in numbers, but then, so do the unions. outside, the protestors will lay siege to the national assembly. scuffles and angry scenes were reflected at the wider frustration in the country and also on the opposition benches.
>> [inaudible] we are determined to fight until the end, until the last minute. >> 3/4 of those surveyed said they supported the national day of action last week. most also recognize that reform is now inevitable. >> i think it is reasonable because it is very true that we cannot stay with the retirement age at 60. we all know we live longer, and we need to work longer if we want to maintain our system of pensions. >> an argument for million to most countries in europe. the burden of deficit is being passed to the next generation of workers. reforms in france appear somewhat modest by comparison, but that will not stop the unions. another day of strikes scheduled
for the 23rd, and two unions are planning open action. the bill now passes to the senate. neither side is ready to back down. >> now, to the news that surely lifted spirits a little among the 30 -- 33 miners trapped. one miner's wife has given birth to a baby girl. they had decided to name her carolina, but each had decided separately to name her experanza, spanish for hope -- esperanza. >> while he sits waiting to be rescued, elsewhere, they sit in a hospital waiting for his daughter to be born. finally, the news they had been waiting for -- hope has a right, and both mother and baby are doing well. for harry l.'s mother, this is a bittersweet moment. she now has a new granddaughter,
but it will be many weeks before she can be reunited with her son. but it is a little bit side -- sad because my son was not present at the birth of his daughter. i would have liked him to be here, but he could not. he received a video which will make him a little bit happier. >> and see if he did. the birth was filmed, and within hours, the images were sent down a supply sheet to the proud father belowground. ariel and his wife had planned to call the daughter carolina, but in the circumstances, her new name is far more poignant. it was not the only good piece of news at the mine. engineers have finally managed to mint the drill, which had been digging down towards the top men but then broke. the drilled a metal girder keep in mind, and ebit shattered. the shards of metal had to be pulled out of the ground using a magnet before the drill could be
repaired. now, engineers say it is ready to start work again. >> it has been a very positive day here at the san jose mind. engineers say they solve a major problem in their tents, and secondly, this little community has a new family member -- baby esperanza, baby hope. >> you will find much more on that and all the international is online at bbc.com/news. we're on twitter and facebook as well. thanks for watching. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, andunion bank,
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